If you have a stability ball, then we have six moves you need to try. This simple fitness prop makes classic exercises like crunches and push-ups much more effective, since keeping the ball stable forces you to work harder. And in this case, working harder is working smarter.
After warming up with light cardio for five minutes, work your way through this series of six exercises. Repeat entire workout two to three times.
Place your hands on the floor and your shins on the ball, coming into a push-up position with your shoulders directly under your hands. Hold for 30 seconds. Increase the difficulty by adding 10 push-ups after your plank. Repeat three times.
2. Knee-Tuck Crunch
Start in a plank position with the tops of your feet on the ball. Pull your knees to your hands, rounding your spine by engaging your abs. Lengthen back to starting position. Do 10 reps.
3. Classic Crunches
Begin sitting on the ball, and walk your feet out until your rib cage is on the ball. Squeeze your glutes to keep your pelvis in line with your shoulders. Interlace your fingers, and place them behind your head for support. Exhale, pulling your abs to your spine and pressing the rib cage into the ball to lift your head. Lower head, and repeat for 20 reps.
4. Inner-Thigh Squeeze
Lie on your side, and place the exercise ball between your feet. Slowly lift the ball up toward the ceiling, working your inner thighs and hips. Do 15 reps.
5. Hamstring Curl
Lie on your back with an exercise ball under your heels. Lift your hips up, and keep them up as you slowly bend your knees, rolling the ball toward you and bringing the soles of your feet onto the top of the ball. Return legs to straightened position. Do 15 reps.
6. Ball Pass
Lie on your back, holding the ball with straight arms lifted toward the ceiling; raise your leg toward the ceiling too. Keep your lower back pressed into the floor as you lower the ball toward your head and your legs toward the floor. Return to starting position, and switch the ball so you're holding it with your feet. Lower your feet to the floor, reaching your arms overhead. Return to starting position. Do 10 reps.
For a printable PDF of this workout, click here.